My Life (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 22, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography
41 Reviews
President Bill Clinton’s My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public.

It shows us the progress of a remarkable American, who, through his own enormous energies and efforts, made the unlikely journey from Hope, Arkansas, to the White House—a journey fueled by an impassioned interest in the political process which manifested itself at every stage of his life: in college, working as an intern for Senator William Fulbright; at Oxford, becoming part of the Vietnam War protest movement; at Yale Law School, campaigning on the grassroots level for Democratic candidates; back in Arkansas, running for Congress, attorney general, and governor.

We see his career shaped by his resolute determination to improve the life of his fellow citizens, an unfaltering commitment to civil rights, and an exceptional understanding of the practicalities of political life.

We come to understand the emotional pressures of his youth—born after his father’s death; caught in the dysfunctional relationship between his feisty, nurturing mother and his abusive stepfather, whom he never ceased to love and whose name he took; drawn to the brilliant, compelling Hillary Rodham, whom he was determined to marry; passionately devoted, from her infancy, to their daughter, Chelsea, and to the entire experience of fatherhood; slowly and painfully beginning to comprehend how his early denial of pain led him at times into damaging patterns of behavior.

President Clinton’s book is also the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written—encompassing not only the high points and crises but the way the presidency actually works: the day-to-day bombardment of problems, personalities, conflicts, setbacks, achievements.

It is a testament to the positive impact on America and on the world of his work and his ideals.

It is the gripping account of a president under concerted and unrelenting assault orchestrated by his enemies on the Far Right, and how he survived and prevailed.

It is a treasury of moments caught alive, among them:

• The ten-year-old boy watching the national political conventions on his family’s new (and first) television set.

• The young candidate looking for votes in the Arkansas hills and the local seer who tells him, “Anybody who would campaign at a beer joint in Joiner at midnight on Saturday night deserves to carry one box. . . . You’ll win here. But it’ll be the only damn place you win in this county.” (He was right on both counts.)

• The roller-coaster ride of the 1992 campaign.

• The extraordinarily frank exchanges with Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole.

• The delicate manipulation needed to convince Rabin and Arafat to shake hands for the camera while keeping Arafat from kissing Rabin.

• The cost, both public and private, of the scandal that threatened the presidency.

Here is the life of a great national and international figure, revealed with all his talents and contradictions, told openly, directly, in his own completely recognizable voice. A unique book by a unique American.


From the Hardcover edition.
  

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Review: My Life

User Review  - Scott Holstad - Goodreads

At nearly 1,000 pages, this book is a monster to read, but boy, am I glad I did! First of all, I love Bill Clinton, I've got to be honest. He was, is, and will always be my favorite president. That ... Read full review

Review: My Life

User Review  - Les - Goodreads

I enjoyed reading this and I didn't think I would initially. OK so he is a politician, this is made clear once he gets out of the descriptions of his childhood and growing up in rural Arkansas, but I ... Read full review

Contents

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Copyright

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About the author (2004)

William Jefferson Clinton, August 19, 1946 - William jefferson Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe IV on August 19, 1946 in Hope, Arkansas. His father, an automobile parts salesman, was killed in a car accident three months before he was born. At the age of fifteen, Bill changed his name to that of his stepfather Roger's as a gesture of goodwill to both him and his mother. Clinton attended Hot Springs High School where he was very active in the student government, among other things. In 1963, Clinton was chosen to attend the American Legion Boys State, a government and leadership conference in Little Rock, where he was elected a senator and given the opportunity to go to Washington D. C. and meet President John F. Kennedy. Clinton attended Georgetown University after he graduated from high school, where he majored in International Studies. He interned for Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, and with him became an opponent of the Vietnam War. Clinton won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford where he studied for two years before attending the University of Arkansas Law School. There he was issued a draft letter and joined ROTC, but was never called up since he received a high number for the draft lottery. In 1970, Clinton entered Yale Law School and worked for George McGovern's presidential campaign in 1972. He graduated from Yale in 1973, and worked for a short time in D. C. as a staff attorney for the House Judiciary Committee. In 1974, Clinton entered his first political race, against Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt, losing to the Congressman by 2 percent. In 1976, he was elected Arkansas Attorney General and in '78 ran for Arkansas Governor, winning the race 63% to 37%. He lost the reelection two years later because of Cuban refugee issues, but regained the title in 1982, and held it till he became President in 1993. Bill Clinton announced his run for President on October 3, 1991, and with Al Gore as his Vice President, took office on January 20, 1993 at the age of 46. He was one of the youngest men to hold the office of President and the first Democrat to be elected since 1976. As President, Clinton worked on health care reform, cut federal spending, created jobs, reduced the deficit and enacted the Assault Weapon Ban as part of the Crime Bill. He also helped Israel and Jordan achieve a peace treaty, enabled a peace accord between Israel and Palestine and contributed to the cease fire in Northern Ireland. Clinton stepped down from the Presidency in 2000 to make way for George W. Bush, and established himself in offices in Harlem, New York City, New York, while his wife was elected to the U.S. Senate, representing New York State.

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